CLASS 4A DIVISION II
State Semifinal

Iowa Park Hawks (9-5)

vs.

No. 8 Pleasant Grove Hawks (12-2)

8 p.m. Friday
Ford Center, Frisco

Coaches

  • Iowa Park: Aubrey Sims
  • Pleasant Grove: Josh Gibson

Last week

Next week

  • Winner vs. Silsbee or Cuero, 11 a.m. Friday (Dec. 21), AT&T Stadium, Arlington, 4A Division II state championship game

Players to watch

Iowa Park

  • RB Brendin Fallon, Sr., 5-9, 155 (215 carries, 1,522 yards, 15 TDs; 10 catches, 177 yards, 1TD)
  • QB Trent Green, Jr., 6-1, 200 (87 of 146, 1,457 yards, 16 TDs, 6 INTs; 96 carries, 489 yards, 8 TDs)
  • ATH Cirby Coheley, Soph., 6-3, 185 (22 of 52, 508 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs; 100 carries, 701 yards, 9 TDs; 21 catches, 317 yards, 3 TDs; 33 tackles, 1 INT, 10 PBUs)
  • WR/DB Kaden Ashlock, Jr., 6-0, 155 (39 catches, 826 yards, 6 TDs 20 carries, 120 yards, 1 TD; 59 tackles, 2 for loss, 6 INTs, 7 PBUs)
  • WR Slayton Ochoa, Jr. (24 catches, 485 yards, 7 TDs; 24 carries, 238 yards, 5 TDs)
  • LB Creed Wells, Sr., 6-0, 194 (122 tackles, 17 for loss, 9 sacks, 10 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble)
  • LB Zane Petering, Sr., 5-11, 183 (154 tackles, 10 for loss, 6 sacks, 11 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
  • DB Reid Lalk, Sr., 5-9, 170 (105 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 INT, 8 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
  • LB Kaden Teafatiller, Sr. (106 tackles, 9 for loss, 3 sacks, 11 QB pressures, 1 INT, 2 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • DT Jeremiah Stanley, Sr., 6-2, 245 (50 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack, 6 QB pressures, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble)

Pleasant Grove

  • RB Bruce Garrett, Jr., 5-11, 187 (227 carries, 1,688 yards, 17 TDs; 3 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD)
  • QB Ben Harmon, Jr., 6-1, 185 (80 of 148, 1,787 yards, 27 TDs, 4 INTs; 87 carries, 364 yards, 10 TDs)
  • RB James Wiggins, Sr., 5-10, 180 (184 carries, 1,172 yards, 10 TDs; 2 catches, 47 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Jackson Cobb, Jr., 5-11, 160 (22 catches, 458 yards, 6 TDs; 8 carries, 35 yards)
  • DT Marcus Burris, Soph., 6-5, 253 (69 tackles, 12 for loss, 5 sacks, 21 QB pressures, 8 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
  • FS Tyler Kelley, Sr., 5-7, 150 (86 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 QB pressure, 5 INTs, 5 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery, 3 defensive TDs)
  • WR Brett Walker, Sr., 6-0, 155 (17 catches, 384 yards, 8 TDs)
  • CB Kameron Woods, Sr., 6-3, 170 (41 tackles, 6 INTs, 25 PBUs, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 blocked kick, 1 defensive TD)
  • LB Bladen Reaves, Sr., 6-0, 195 (120 tackles, 10 for loss, 6 sacks, 6 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles)
  • LB Nick Martin, Soph., 6-0, 178 (115 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 16 QB pressures, 3 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)

Just the facts

  • Iowa Park has not reached the state finals since 1970.
  • Iowa Park is averaging 31.5 points and 384.9 yards per game -- 240.2 rushing and 144.7 passing.
  • The Hawks began the season by losing five of their first six games.
  • The cumulative record of Iowa Park's opponents is 90-71 (.559).
  • Iowa Park is allowing 21.5 points per game, has 24 sacks, and has forced 23 turnovers -- 14 interceptions and nine fumbles.
  • Pleasant Grove is seeking to become the first school from Texarkana to reach back-to-back state title games.
  • Pleasant Grove is averaging 38.1 points and 421.3 yards per game -- 290.8 rushing and 130.5 passing.
  • One of every three completions from Hawks junior quarterback Ben Harmon goes for a touchdown.
  • The cumulative record of Pleasant Grove's opponents is 87-62 (.583).
  • Pleasant Grove is allowing 19.7 points per game, has 28.5 sacks, and has forced 28 turnovers -- 17 interceptions and 11 fumbles.
Pleasant Grove RB Bruce Garrett. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Pleasant Grove rushing attack vs. Iowa Park defensive front. Simply put, if Iowa Park is to pull off the upset of the defending state champs, it must be able to contain Pleasant Grove's powerful running game. PG comes into the state semifinals averaging 290 rushing yards per game, and it's getting most of its production from its two-headed backfield monster. Running backs Bruce Garrett and James Wiggins are each over 1,000 yards on the season, and between the two of them, they have combined for 2,860 yards and 27 touchdowns. The duo also averages almost seven yards per carry.

Success on the ground often leads the big plays in the passing game. Quarterback Ben Harmon has only completed 80 passes this season -- an average of less than six per game. However, he has accumulated almost 1,800 yards with 27 touchdowns. One out of every three completions goes for a touchdown, which speaks to the effectiveness Pleasant Grove has on the ground. Harmon often catches opposing defenses by surprise, and receivers are left either single-covered or completely wide open.

Pleasant Grove RB James Wiggins. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Iowa Park must prevent Pleasant Grove to find a rhythm on the ground. Because if it cannot, expect Pleasant Grove to take advantage with big plays downfield through the air. A ton of pressure will be on Iowa Park's top four defenders -- lineman Jeremiah Stanley and linebackers Creed Wells, Zane Petering, and Kaden Teafatiller.

Don't be surprised if: Iowa Park, a predominantly run-first team, attempts to get off to a fast start in the passing game. Junior quarterback Trent Green has thrown for almost 1,500 yards with 16 touchdowns, so he is more than capable of making big plays for the Iowa Park offense. Pleasant Grove's offense is not built to overcome big deficits, so if Iowa Park can create some significant separation early in the game with some chunk plays in the passing game, Pleasant Grove might be forced out of its comfort zone a bit on offense.